Welcome to the BrainQuake blog and to our new website! We’re excited to announce the launch of our new subscription product, the BrainQuake app. Our new educational platform reflects a major investment of research, design, and testing, all focused on the goal of increasing students’ mathematical problem-solving skills. At the moment, the app is available on iOS, and is tailored for home use. We will be increasing availability on other platforms (the Web is next!), and we expect to deliver a version for schools later this year.
The new app extends and strengthens our proven ability to develop and increase students’ number sense, mathematical thinking, creative problem-solving ability, multi-step reasoning, and attitude toward mathematics (mindset). It includes two brand-new puzzles (in addition to the popular Wuzzit Trouble puzzle!) and our new BrainQuake Score. We will continue to release additional new content in the months ahead. More specifically, here’s what we’ve just released:
● A new puzzle focusing on linear growth and algebra: Tiles. In this puzzle, the player selects “growable” rectangular tiles from a palette, drags them into a target tray having one to four empty rows, and then initiates a series of one or more GROW actions so as to completely fill the target tray with no two tiles colliding. This is equivalent to solving a system of simultaneous linear equations in a single unknown. (The puzzle is a lot simpler to operate than to describe in words! In fact, it’s so natural, it doesn’t really require any instructions!)
● A new puzzle focusing on fractions and proportional reasoning: Tanks. The player adjusts a valve to direct liquid from a feedtank into two, three, or four output tanks so as to completely fill them all, without any spillage. Adjusting the valve is equivalent to solving problems of proportions of figures, fractions, percentages, and decimals. As with Tiles, while the underlying math may seem daunting, the puzzle actions are natural.
● An updated version of Wuzzit Trouble, our original integer arithmetic and algebra puzzle, now called Gears, which includes a greatly expanded set of individual puzzles, together with two new features: cogs that break after a certain number of rotations, and variable limits to the windup of cogs to perform sweeps.
● An adaptive engine. Each of the three puzzle types draws individual puzzles from a database of hundreds of puzzles of different difficulty levels. As a player moves through the game, an algorithm tracks their progress and assesses their current ability level in order always to present the player with puzzles at their current upper limit, where optimal learning takes place and excitement/engagement remains high.
● The BrainQuake Score: a proprietary assessment comprising three metrics: Performance (how well a player solves the puzzles), Persistence (the degree to which the player keeps trying to solve puzzles), and Creativity (the degree to which the player exhibits creativity in their solutions). Most math educational technology products measure only performance.
● Support for up to three players: The BrainQuake app allows up to three players to save separate games (or for one player to save three different games, etc.), allowing families to not only compare and contrast their play, but also to stretch the value of our app that much farther.
Keith will be writing extensively about our new content in upcoming blog posts, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.
As we launch the BrainQuake app, we will also soon remove Wuzzit Trouble Junior and Wuzzit Trouble Math Patterns from the App Store. Eventually, we’ll make these apps available once more inside of the BrainQuake app. You’ll still find the original version of Wuzzit Trouble in the App Store.
Thank you for all of your support over the years. We are looking forward to learning with and from you as we continue to change the way families, students and teachers can see and develop children’s true mathematics potential.
Keith & Randy